João Barcelos paintings are classified as "figurative", a word that means, in the Brazilian artistic scenario, a kind of painting completely antagonistic towards abstract and contemporary art. Nevertheless, he believes that they are far from being deep realistic or with so much details. The edges are not sharp and there is no commitment to a photograph copy. They are developed throughout pleasant and harmonious colors, where all the beauty of the contrast between light and shadow is cleverly explored. These characteristics allow him to accept his style as impressionist. However, sometimes he tries to put forward his feelings by means of some (apparent) uncontrolled strokes. So, one can say that his style might actually be impressionist but with expressionist touches. The contemporaneity of his work is expressed by making full use of new painting materials, a subject that he deserves careful studies, as can be attested by his  Reports.  In the section  Gallery  one can find a more detailed description of his work in the context of the Art History.

The drawing is part of his life since his most remote past memories. His first oil painting was done when he was just 12 years old, motivated by young friends and advisored by a local art teacher. However, his formal education has not been started in Arts. In life, he learned to become a Physicist, after a period around ten years in military forces. His Bachelor and PhD degrees were taken in the State and Federal Universities of Rio de Janeiro, respectively. He was pos-doctoral in the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Rochester, New York. In the beginning of his scientific career, he was Assistant Professor in the Physics Institute of the State University and, later on, Professor of Physics in the Physics Institute of the Federal University. He taught almost all the physics disciplines, both in graduate and undergraduate courses. He also participated in the academic administration, being head of the Physics Theoretical Department, head of the Graduate Program, Vice-Director and Director of the Physics Institute. He worked in theoretical research (quantum field theory) for about 30 years, published exactly one hundred   papers.  All this history can be seen in a  testimony  in the celebration of the 45 years of the Physics Institute (in Portuguese).

Besides of this, Art has never been absent of his life. Even sometimes drawing and painting in a sporadic way, he profited greatly from his trips abroad by visiting museums and art galleries.

In 1990, he decided to spend more time in painting. He started by attending some Alvaro Xavier's classes in his famous boat-studio that was anchored near his home and where his two daughters, both potential artists, had drawing and watercolor classes. He stayed there for six months, where he learned the basics of professional painting and to care and use higher quality materials, besides the pleasure for the plein-air painting. This is a habit he keeps nowadays, in company with a group of friends. "I just start the paint in the place, where I make the initial composition and put the first colors (usually transparent and pure ones, without white). After that, in the calm atmosphere of my studio, I place the final colors, where I reserve some space for creativity and imagination."

At that time he had the opportunity of meet experienced artists that attended Xavier's boat-studio and started to follow them in outdoor paintings. He learned a lot with two of them, Sidney Lacé and Mário Teixeira. At the same time, he attended the Brazilian Society for Fine Arts (SBBA for the Brazilian abbreviation), by participating in its periodic juried shows. He did not have classes at SBBA, but developed his art techniques by listening to the valuable suggestions of a great SBBA's artist, Dario Silva.

At one time he had the privilege of participating in the painting group under the leadership of Alberto Nunes and Eduardo Carlson, both excellent artists. This was an art school to him. The Alberto Nunes' poetic and elegant nuances of light and color influenced him a great deal. He confesses: "I will do my best to never lose this influence. The opportunity of seeing  Alberto Nunes  painting is among my best pleasant memories. With no doubt, he was a blessed artist."

There was also a short period where he attended classes of female nudes, given by one of the most complete Brazilian artists, Bandeira de Melo. These classes helped him to improve his drawing and to artistically increase through the great knowledge of Bandeira de Melo world.

So, until the end of 2002, for about twelve years, he was equally a Physicist and a Painter. Even though these are two apparently antagonic activities, they lived parallel and harmoniously on his day by day. Maybe, they appear in his paintings through the harmony between light and shadow or in the pleasant convivial between hot and cold colors. While a Physicist, he used the Art to feel the harmony and beauty, hidden many times, in the equations of his research, and while an Artist he used the Science to understand the mysteries about the harmony composition of colors and forms. Nowadays, he is just an Artist. "The Physics is for me, at this moment, just a rational and essential link with the world I live in."

During all this time of continued artistic activities, he got more than two hundred awards in juried shows and plein-air painting competitions. Among them, one stands out five trips abroad (four to Europe and one to United States), many trips to Brazil and more than seventy outstanding awards and gold medals. For two times, he was among the fifty finalists in the landscape category of the Annual Art Competition, sponsored by The Artist's Magazine, Ohio, USA, where the total entries were around ten thousand. He was also among the sixty Brazilian finalists of the III Maimeri Latin-American Juried Competition, where the entries were almost four thousand (the finalist paintings were exhibited in the Latin-American Memorial, São Paulo, Brazil, and in the Glace Palace, Buenos Aires, Argentina). He received the gold academic laurel from The Brazilian Academy of Fine Arts in recognition of his work and achieved a bronze medal prize-winnings of the 54th São Paulo Fine Arts Exhibition, sponsored by the State Government of São Paulo. He has accomplished nine solo exhibitions, where the most important was "Today we still see Rio in the past", in the "Conjunto Cultural da Caixa", Rio de Janeiro, and "Quantum Impressionism" in the "Espaço Furnas Cultural". He also participated in more than one hundred group exhibitions. In one of them, which was also a juried show and took place in the Antonio Parreiras Museum, he received the second outstanding prize.

His work is displayed in the books A Arte em Teresópolis (Zem Grafica Publishing - 1999, Teresópolis - RJ), Arte Carioca (Zem Grafica Publishing - 2000, Terespólis - RJ), Arte e Artistas (Casa do Restaurador - 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003, São Paulo), Catálogo da Indústria da Moda do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (EBGE - 2002), Arte Especial - Grandes Nomes da Escultura e Pintura Brasileira (Speedy Graph - 2004, Teresópolis - RJ), SOLARTE: Do Sonho à Realidade (Speedy Graph - 2004, Teresópolis - RJ), Sociedade Brasileira de Belas Artes - Sua história e seus artistas - 96 anos (Andrômeda Grafica Publishing - 2006, Rio de Janeiro), Gallery Art Brazil II (Gráfica e Editora Del Rey - 2009, Minas Gerais), SociedadeBrasileira de Belas Artes - 100 anos (Editora Comunità Ltda - 2010, Rio de Janeiro), Art Gallery in Brazil - Perfil da Arte Contemporânea Brasileira (Editora Art Club - 2010, Minas Gerais) and notebook covers from Casa Cruz. His paintings are in several particular and public collections, like Administration of Rio de Janeiro City (Parks and Gardens), Administration of Angra dos Reis City, Cultural House of Teresópolis, Cultural House of Saquarema, Navy Club, Marines Museum, Army Club, Brazilian Air Force (Galeão Air Base), Superior Army Schools, Nikkei Association of Rio, Tijuca Tennis Club, Yacht Club Jardim Guanabara, Army Academy, Military Policy of Rio de Janeiro, Administration of Belford- Roxo City, Sã o João Fort, Santa Cruz Fort, Brazilian Student House, Administration of São Gonçalo City, Fire Department RJ, Finance Building RJ etc.